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Over the moon, so happy, thanks

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Performers assemble the Olympic Rings during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, at the Olympic Stadium, in Tokyo, on July 23, 2021. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)


Tokyo 2020 took place in 2021. It means these Olympians had five years of training and getting ready. It means that the next Olympians will have only three years to train and get ready for their own medals mentality. We all know why 2020 became 2021. And until it began, nobody was sure it would not be cancelled completely.

There are three groupings of Olympic activities now. There are the field and track activities which can be named as the traditional activities constituting the core of the modern Olympic Games.100m, 200m, 400m, and the others. There are the huddles, which accompany 100m, 200m, and 400m. Then, we have the jumps: long jump and triple jump, high jump and pole vault. All these take place on land. We must not forget football, netball, basketball, volleyball, and the repetition of these in water.

There are activities that have been added from modern games as golf and as skateboarding. There are a third category of questionable inclusion like shooting. So many games, so many possibilities. With one exception: there are no games from Africa that has been introduced into the Olympics. One cannot imagine why this is so but one can make some guesses. It would be difficult to ask the organizing committee in charge of the Olympics to introduce a game into the Olympics, which is not played at the national African level.

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Growing up in a provincial capital in Nigeria, international rumour had it that India was not allowed to participate in the Olympics. The reason for this was because India was full of magic and magic was not allowed in the Olympics. Yet Indians are participating in Tokyo 2020. But Russia is not participating in Tokyo 2020 because the country is accused of organized use of banned drugs for their athletes. This year athletes from Russia appear in the Olympics under the Russia Olympic Committee.

The Olympics is a strange and wonderful world and place. What is the value of each of these medals for winner in the various races and competitions? Approximately the gold medal is worth about $800, silver medal about $450 and the bronze medal about $5.Yet the winners of the bronze medal are usually the most grateful, the most ecstatic in expressing their gratitude. They are the ones who are sure to come back in the hope of improving their medal worth in the next Olympics.

The winners of the silver medals are easy to convince if they are advanced in age like thirty-something or forty-something. The winner of the gold medal is king. The highest amount a gold medal has fetched is $1.46m. It was the gold medal that Jesse Owen won in 1936 for which Adolf Hitler refused to shake his hand.

One of strangest names to come up in the Olympics this year is Athing Mu, citizen of the United States of America, who won the gold medal for the 800m for women.

Even now with most of the Olympic activities finished, there are people who are not sure the Olympics should be taking place in Japan under the present international situation. But there are others who are happy that in spite of the fears and the uncertainty expressed, it went on and it has been quite a success. One of the successes this year is the case of someone threatened by her country because she refused to participate in an activity she did not prepare for who sought asylum and was granted by Poland.

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The pattern is now established. Medal distribution follows the economic capability of each country. There are the western countries, rich from exploitation of others, who can afford to finance swimming pools and boats for games like all the water activities. There are so-called middle-income countries like Brazil and India while poor country like Central African Republic, countries which win the odd silver medal or even gold. At this time with three or so days left of activities, the United States of America, at the top of the medal list, has 79 medals while China has 70, Great Britain has 48 and Japan has 40 medals. Germany has 32, France 25, and Australia 36. Greece, where it all began, has three. South Africa has 3 and Nigeria has two.

While the games are played to the glory of countries, they are also participated in to the fame and renown of individual citizens. Among countries China is one of the most successful. One would expect Japan to do well as far as medals are concerned being the host of the games.

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The world of the Olympic Games can be a strange world indeed. For instance, Iran wanted the Olympic Games organisers to ensure that Iranian athletes do not contest where Israeli athletes are competing. The organizers of the games do not carry out the foreign policies of participating countries. So, Iran has made mandatory on their athletes, on pain of punishment, to participate in events in which Israeli athletes are participating. A quick check reveals that Israel sent 89 athletes in15 sports to Tokyo 2020. This is the largest delegation of Israeli athletes.

We can imagine a future when Iran would rule themselves or their athletes out of the Olympics!

With the introduction of skateboarding into the games, the Olympics has the youngest athletes and the youngest medal winners ever at the age 13! 13-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown of Great Britain won the bronze medal in the women’s event. 18-year-old Australian Keegan Palmer won gold in the men’s event.

When will some countries be able to afford the cost of setting up Equestrian equipment, gymnasium equipment and trampolining equipment to participate in these games at the Olympics? What about Golf? And it is obvious that more and more games will be introduced into the games as time goes on.

The next summer Olympics is scheduled for July 2024 in Paris, France. Which means that all this time third-world-countries have not been participating in the Winter Olympics! The needed clothes alone would consume all their budget for sports for the particular year.

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